Local Office Spotlight: Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana

Local Office Spotlight

Epilepsy News From:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This month, the Epilepsy Foundation is proud to shine a light on the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana (EFKY). EFKY has offered Studio E: The Epilepsy Art Program to its clients for the last seven years in Louisville and for the last three years in Lexington. Over the years, the program has grown to become one of the most popular hosted by EFKY. Participants living in these areas have turned to art to explore their feelings and process their emotions surrounding their epilepsy.

Every summer, this multi-week program is led by an expressive therapist, and a nurse or EFKY staff person is at each location for safety and seizure response. The 2018 program ended in August, hosting a total of 22 participants.

Finding Support Through Art

Painting of Flowers by Studio E Participant

EFKY’s Studio E program has been coordinated by Director of Education Beth Stivers MS since 2011. Beth has been with the Foundation since 2007 and manages EFKY’s education department. She has provided seizure awareness and response programs for EFKY to thousands of individuals over the years through the Epilepsy Foundation’s signature programs and EFKY's local programs. Studio E is by far her favorite program to implement.

"Studio E has made a positive impact in the lives of many people with epilepsy and has provided a new way for participants to express their feelings," said Beth. "Many participants come to the program feeling the negative effects of relentless seizure activity, employment issues, and stigma. However, as each week passes, they share more and soon notice an increase in their confidence and self-awareness.”

The participants also enjoy fellowship with other people who understand what it is like to live with epilepsy. Many also discover new artistic talents.

Keeping Connections and Fostering Community

Studio E participants expressed that they wanted to see each other more often, not only to create art, but also to support each other throughout their epilepsy journeys. In response, EFKY started hosting the monthly Art Group Gathering in 2015. This group has become a signature support group for EFKY. Group members always welcome newcomers, giving them a chance to tell their story.

Participants have high praise for both programs:

"Studio E and the Art Group Gathering have really helped me through many life hurdles, including grief, depression, and much more. My life would be incomplete without it. I really cherish and enjoy the friendships I have made in this group."

“Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! What a help you all have been. It’s wonderful being with people who don’t think you’re ‘strange’ or ‘inferior.’”

I really enjoyed this group. It helps me socially and emotionally. I feel I can be more open and myself. - Studio E participant

A Team Effort

Studio E Art Program Participants

The EFKY’s Studio E program and Art Group Gathering are supported by all Kentuckiana staff. Many staff members have been involved in both groups and enjoy their time interacting with participants.

“Our Studio E program is the absolute best,” said Deb McGrath, EFKY executive director and co-founder. “Participants have developed true friendships and lasting bonds that have proven essential to their wellbeing. The Studio E program and monthly Art Group Gathering have been an incredible blessing and life-changing experience for our participants and to me and my staff.”

EFKY and the Epilepsy Foundation thank our partners Lundbeck for making this program possible. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this program that has touched and changed so many lives.

Find a Local Program Near You

The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana has other programs available for people with epilepsy. For more information, visit efky.org. If you’d like to connect to your local Foundation and learn about their programs, visit epilepsy.com/localsupport.

Thank you, Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, for your hard work implementing Studio E and the Art Group Gathering and for everything you do for your community every day!

Look for our next Local Office Spotlight in October when we will shine the spotlight on another local Foundation and the great work they are doing in a community near you.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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